This weekend, as part of our intense Grillstock practice regime we set ourselves a slightly different task – mass-catering.
We decided to serve a diverse menu which would all be (relatively) straight-forward to serve to such a large number of people. Although this did require a fair amount of prior preparation – the spare ribs were smoked the day before, and the pork shoulder was smoked overnight.
The menu was:
- grilled chorizo
- asparagus with rapeseed oil mayo
- smoked jerk chicken
- pulled pork sliders with coleslaw
- meaty ribs
- baby back ribs
In a parallel universe, or maybe just in another part of Birmingham, two full racks of pork spare ribs have been rubbed down with the special Hall Green blend of spices and herbs. One rack is from a Gloucester Old Spot and the other from a Berkshire. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell which one is which when they’ve been smoked tomorrow.
One whole chicken has been cut into two and is in the brine to ensure moistness. I’m not doing chicken portions or the ubiquitous chicken pillows. The chicken category has caused me many sleepless nights. Grillstock being our first competition I’ve read up on what is expected in this category and the general consensus is that chicken thighs is the way to go. It seems that everyone has jumped on the boneless chicken pillow bandwagon, a kind of bland uniformity which I feel goes against the spirit of good que but more importantly there’s just no skill in reproducing what everybody else is doing. I’m going whole chicken, the breast will be moist and the legs juicy. It’ll all be served together and you see that chicken will look and taste like chicken!
Luckily for me I don’t need any overnight smoking, so see you in the morning.
The fire has been built, the smoker is up to temperature., the ribs go on for 5 hrs with oak and hickory doing it’s magic. The ribs will get the occasional spritz of apple juice to give it a nice glaze but that’s it. I’ll make the sauce later, I’m having a nice relaxing Sunday morning.